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Thread: BMW Vario v. Hepco Becker Junior Enduro Cases ??

  1. #1

    BMW Vario v. Hepco Becker Junior Enduro Cases ??

    BMW Vario v. Hepco Becker Junior Enduro Cases ??


    I am studying case options for a new-to-me F700GS. I am going with hard cases but not the super duper metal "Adventure" style. Would appreciate feedback.

    I have the oem racks which accept the BMW Vario cases. These are the ones that can expand in size with an internal lever mechanism. Interesting, and reasonably tidy. However, the cases are quite pricey new, and also on the used market. Here is the package sold at a nearby BMW dealership:

    BMW Vario Cases Left/Right

    Hepco & Becker offers similar sized cases in similar material to the Vario cases. They are not "vario" in size, just fixed. They can be purchased in a 30L/40L case size for offset left/right cases (to accommodate the muffler.) Total volume is a bit more than the expanded Vario cases, but pretty close. Price is MUCH more reasonable - - about 1/2 the price of the BMW cases:

    Hepco Becker Junior Enduro Case Set

    The only catch is I would need to mount H/B side racks, at an extra expense of nearly $350. (I may be able to sell the BMW racks to recoup some of that.) The H/B racks are actually much nicer/more versatile, and have a "quick attach" feature that allows the racks themselves to be easily dismounted. Unlike the BMW racks, these H/B racks will work with many other models and brands of cases:

    Hepco/Becker Side Racks

    Does anyone have specific experience with these H/B Junior cases and/or rack, or a basis of comparison with the BMW Vario cases? I have poked around a bit and not found too many references to them - - kind of surprising given how much more affordable they are than the Vario cases.

    Any feedback welcome even if it's just educated opinion based on experience with other cases. But keep in mind I'm pretty focussed on comparing these two and have decided against some other options including soft cases.

    .
    Last edited by vark; 07-31-2020 at 03:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Anything that has “BMW” stamped on it is going to be expensive, regardless of value.

    I looked at the HB juniors with colored inserts for a bike i considered getting and agree they seem a good value for the money.

    That said, i prefer Varios for the 700, mainly because the bike looks so clean when they are removed.
    The Vario mount is certainly clever but the plastic levers are somewhat fragile and the expansion mechanism can get sticky after a while, especially if you ride in a lot of dust. Used bags may not expand or contract easily.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I have the black plastic BMW Vario cases- sides and top. They have been excellent on the F800GS.
    OM
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the feedback. Itís all helpful.

    I agree about how ďcleanĒ the Vario system looks, both mounted and dismounted. Plenty of photographic evidence for that.

    Unfortunately I havenít been able to find photos of what the H/B Juniors look like mounted on an F700GS. It would be helpful to see how high they sit and at what angle, etc.

  5. #5
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vark View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Itís all helpful.

    I agree about how ďcleanĒ the Vario system looks, both mounted and dismounted. Plenty of photographic evidence for that.

    Unfortunately I havenít been able to find photos of what the H/B Juniors look like mounted on an F700GS. It would be helpful to see how high they sit and at what angle, etc.
    I would suggest looking at the SHAD offerings. IIRC, SHAD makes the BMW OEM bags.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I would suggest looking at the SHAD offerings. IIRC, SHAD makes the BMW OEM bags.
    I will study those, thanks. A quick peek shows they are running a 20% off summer sale, which canít hurt.

  7. #7
    Registered User Guenther's Avatar
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    When I bought my F700GS on the way out of the dealership I bought the Varios and they gave me a 20% discount.

    The Varios are heavy and have a bit awkward shape inside the right bag. They are VERY sturdy. I dropped my bike a few times with no damage, not even a scratch.

    Perfect designed mounting points! Easy to take off/ put on and no damage from my drops.

    I really like the fact that I can collapse the Varios for day tours and have them extended when travel with camping gear. I also like that they open to the side and I can open them with the camping gear on top.

    I had the Hepco style mounting rack for the BMW side cases on my R100GS. I had to have weld a weak spots twice and finally had to replace the racks. But that was over 30 years of usage!

    /Guenther
    2017 F700GS - I wish it had a drive shaft

  8. #8
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Vark,

    You might try searching for a used F650/700/800 GS on CycleTrader, Craigslist or similar. If the bike has bags, ask if they're interested in selling them separately. This works at dealers, too.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  9. #9
    I appreciate the suggestions and input from everyone. Contacting sellers of Vario-equipped bikes is an interesting idea.

    A related question: Does anyone know definitively whether the Vario cases used on larger R-GS models would also fit the F-GS bikes? BMW has a different part #, and the F cases have a different exterior appearance. But I have seen some info suggesting there is overlapping compatibility.

    These just popped up not too far away, at a good price. Iím not a fan of the silver panel, but could live with it:

    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...170051696.html

    .

  10. #10
    R and F bike Vario mounts are very different.
    An R has 2 clips while the F has a single stud along the top.
    The lids and expansion mechanism MAY be interchangeable, but the inside panels and mounts are not.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  11. #11
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vark View Post
    I appreciate the suggestions and input from everyone. Contacting sellers of Vario-equipped bikes is an interesting idea.

    A related question: Does anyone know definitively whether the Vario cases used on larger R-GS models would also fit the F-GS bikes? BMW has a different part #, and the F cases have a different exterior appearance. But I have seen some info suggesting there is overlapping compatibility.

    These just popped up not too far away, at a good price. Iím not a fan of the silver panel, but could live with it:

    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...170051696.html

    .
    You need the ones that use the pin on the grab handles.
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    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    R and F bike Vario mounts are very different.
    An R has 2 clips while the F has a single stud along the top.
    The lids and expansion mechanism MAY be interchangeable, but the inside panels and mounts are not.
    Okay thanks for the info.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    You need the ones that use the pin on the grab handles....
    Ahhh. Okay. I had thought that pin was for the topcase mount, not sidecases?? I am still learning how this all works.

  14. #14
    So, my thinking has evolved. Now leaning toward a Givi set-up.

    Their Trekker cases are similar to the Vario cases (but not expanding), with two added features: (1) side and top loading; (2) can be moved from sideracks to top rack to use as a topcase. I could use a 33L and 46L as side cases for longer trips (with bulky camping gear on rack in duffle) or use either of the sidecases as a topcase for around town.

    If anyone is interested in opining, there is a decent demo video here: https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...-33-liter-case

    The cases are somewhat pricier than the H/B Juniors (but I have found them for cheaper than Revzilla). However, the racks are less expensive by about $135. So total price is not far apart.

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